How you guys are managing this new season after all this nightmare, prices, marketing, and all related to bring more guest to your listings?
hi from Roatan island, Caribbean
Only a few select all-inclusive hotels are allowed to host guests in St. Lucia, but the government is rolling out a program that will certify Airbnb rentals to host guests from within the Caricom travel bubble. It will be September at the earliest that I will be able to host guests. That's okay, in the meanwhile we will make some renovations in preparation of receiving guests again.
How are thing going for you?
Still no positive news from my area. 65% less flights and too many COVID cases.
And because no evil comes alone, 36 days (so far) of protests and blocked traffic.
Against the government (actually-against the prime minister personally) and against the new general prosecutor. The regular parliamentary elections are scheduled for March 2021.
Actually, very few people are protesting. Between 4-5,000 ( in a 1.5 million city) But they are making a just unbelievable traffic chaos.
Sometimes 200, sometimes 5000, sometimes less than 50.
Some people are spending too much time in the social networks and watching too much TV-they just feel like in Seattle in the late 90's.
We will not open till Nov.1st, 2020. Belize had a total of 18 cases/2 deaths till last week, then one person came in a private plane and boom - 320 cases overnight, 1 death of a person that is a miracle was still alive anyway. Last night the president of Belize said, there will not be more lock-downs, got to go for it, the country just doesn't have the means to support people via unemployment. So that is where things stand.
P.S. Meantime we have renovated the whole place, should be finished by the end of this month).
Here's an ironic story. In July, when the St. Lucian government re-started receiving flights and guests from the U.S. many St. Lucians were voicing their protestations, saying that it was too soon considering how the spread of the virus was surging in the US. They wanted to keep the border closed, and definitely didn't want any Americans coming down. I am very proud of how proactive the St. Lucian government was in implementing a pretty comprehensive mitigation plan to tackle the spread of the virus. They obtained assistance from Cuba with over 100 medical personnel, have a rigorous testing and quarantine protocol, set laws regarding to mandatory face masks, limited the number of passengers on a bus, set up a dedicated respiratory hospital, and the community health centers had dedicated COVID wings. To date, there have been only 25 cases on island, no deaths, and currently no active cases. However, the Bahamas had a significant increase in cases primarily from Bahamians returning from Florida. As did some other islands such as Jamaica, Antigua and T&T.
St. Lucia welcomes travelers from the US, Canada and the UK, but they are not allowed to leave their resorts unless to participate in a coordinate coastal boat ride, and they cannot disembark. Last week, the CDC announced a travel advisory, putting St. Lucia at a level 3, advise against travel. They stated that travelers have a higher risk of catching the virus in St. Lucia, and if they catch the virus, medical facilities are limited. The CDC sited their reasoning is based on the lifting of the curfew, and public transportation has resumed. Of course, the St. Lucian citizens felt insulted. Although in their uproar not a single person was quoted to have said, "Good, I didn't want them to come here, anyway." Instead, there were numerous cries, "How could the CDC make such a recommendation considering the way that the virus spread is escalating in the US, and the island has an impeccable record in comparison? We were one of the few places welcoming Americans.".
The Minister of Health said she was not consulted by the CDC prior to the announcement, but her guess is that the CDC just clumped all of the Caribbean islands together when the warning should have been only for a few of the islands. Basically, the CDC did not recognize the independence of each island, and declared the whole Caribbean region high risk. Nor, did they consider that the islands individually impose travel restrictions on other island, e.g., in St. Lucia travelers from the Bahamas must follow the same protocols as those from the US. Which is different that the requirements for travelers from within the Caribbean travel bubble.
I have my own theory about the announcement. To discourage non-essential international travel, the CDC is playing upon a stereotype of the unprepared developing country rather than highlight it's the US travelers who pose the real threat. If so, they would have said, "Real truth, we don't recommend travel to St. Lucia, an island with very few instances of COVID-19, because due to the delays with COVID-19 testing and non-uniform enforcement of public health guidelines in the US, you are likely to bring the virus to the island. If you get sick you probably will not have the money to pay for your medical care, because most people don't buy travel insurance and erroneously think their US health plans will cover them while abroad. Plus, the US government won't pay to medi-vac you back home.".
Regardless, I don't think that people who are willing to travel nowadays are reading the CDC's travel advisories, because they have already made up their minds. Similar to you, we're also going to make renovations and plan to re-open in the Autumn. Hopefully, this new saliva test will be readily available on the open market, because it will be the impetus to get people traveling again: https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/16/health/us-coronavirus-sunday/index.html.
@Debra300 The US Govt. doesn't want Americans spending their vacation money outside the US. This was going on long before COVID. They are constantly putting out travel advisories for Mexico that make people think they're going to get gunned down just walking along the street, minding their own business in a thriving tourist town.
It's not that there aren't areas that can be dangerous, but Mexico is a big country. I've had guests message me when they wanted to book asking if it was safe because they read an advisory about some cartel shootings somewhere. I had to let them know that that area is 1000 kms from where I live.
If other countries put out the kind of travel advisories the US does, no one would ever even consider going to the US on holiday.
@Debra300 The recent spread was because people from the U.S with the virus, came in a private plane. The two death previously were from Belizians returning from the U.S. The third case was from a heart condition, but after he died they tested him for Covid-19 and sure enough he definitely died of Covid-19.
The CDC also just included Belize as a 'hot spot' because of the rise of recent cases. The CDC gives me the creeps, their position on Hydroxychloroquine was really irresponsible because how it shifted legal responsibility by putting a warning on it (only been around for 65 years mind you) and then even pressured the big pharmaceutical outlets to not fill doctor's demand for it. I look forward to see Redfield's embarrassed face when all those vaccines soon come to the market from private industry at record time.
@Sarah977 That little move by the State Department about drug wars happening in Mexico, that made it sound like the whole country was dangerous, cost Mexico a cool trillion dollars in lost tourism overnight, it affected the economic welfare of a lot of Mexicans. They offered no qualifier that the 'drug war' was happening within 100 miles of the US border, and Mexico is 2,000 miles long.
You've highlighted another ploy committed upon the willful ignorance of Americans, their lack of geographical knowledge and failure to do fact check the news that's reported. Add to these lapses in critical thinking, and the rising reliance of people getting "news" from social media, a significant percentage of the US general public have little understanding or knowledge of events that are outside of their immediate area. Plus, there is a palpable air of superiority exhibited toward places that have been categorized as 2nd or 3rd world by those who claim to represent the 1st world.
Here is a good one for you @Debra300 ; you always hear of 1st & 3rd world countries, I have never heard of one being 2nd - I think you are the only person I know that has used that term. I use it all the time.
@Fred13 @Debra300 Mexico is what I think of and experience to be a 2nd world country. In the nearest big city to me, Puerto Vallarta, an hour away, you find Costco, Home Depot, Starbucks, fancy shopping centers, new car dealerships, etc. In my tourist town, there are about 300 places to eat within an 8 square block radius, from simple tacos to restaurants with a surf and turf platter to a juice bar where you can get a green smoothie with all sorts of vitamins and supplements thrown in.
Yet when I had to go get my car licensed, the guy came out to the parking lot, lay under my car with a used-diesel soaked rag, which he smeared over the VIN numbers on the engine block, then pressed a piece of scotch tape over it to transfer the impression of the numbers. He then stuck this on the side of the water bottle I was carrying, we went back up to the office, where he peeled the tape off my water bottle and stuck it onto the back of the paperwork. It was virtually illegible.
So there are elements of 1st world, and elements of 3rd world (which I honestly don't foresee ever changing), so I'd call it 2nd world.